Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Grandmother's Brooch

My grandmother's brooch,
a thorny 10-pointed bronze star,
alternating with ten 3-leaf clovers,
leads the eye to six small circles
and six black enamel petals,
leading the eye
to a small diamond, or a rhinestone.


Once I was a bit of dark sparkle holding wealthy widow veils, to a midnight hat. I was cheap costume jewelry, of no particular origin, with the acrid odor of merry go rounds. A thorny bronze star, lances, and clovers, flanked by small circles and six black enamel petals, leading the eye to a small rhinestone, or perhaps a diamond, it was that small. Then Mrs. Rixford gave me away to the maid who came on Thursdays to mend the clothing, and make Irish lace. But my eager arms snagged the silk blouses, so I was banished to the lapel of her black gaberdine coat, though I was no larger than a quarter. It was like a fishing expedition, who's scarf, whose hair, I could snag. I wanted to travel the world, perhaps get lost on a city street, or a park bench, and travel from woman to woman, but the clasp on a swivel bar, was well made. So my grandmother stuck me in a bureau drawer, and raised her kids, they came in a steady stream until there were eight of them, no place to wear me, except the time her second-born son died of a ruptured appendix at 17, and then she placed me in another drawer, as she grew older and changed houses, buried her husband, where I slept fitfully for decades amid bright cloisonne, crystal and jet beads, until the first grandchild stumbled upon me during a bout of dress-up. I loved hearing taffeta and velvet on watered silk, that sharp sound that contained so much anticipation. The grandmother who had forgotten all about me, but took me with her when she moved, said, you can have it, and the girl, kept it with her always, and wore it on the black sweater with a beaded collar, where it was a lodestone, a black star leading her home to the memory of her grandmother. Today is the 30th anniversary of the day her grandmother died. And still she remembers. She remembers.

rev 11/12/2014

IMAGERY Nov 12 from Our Stories- Creativity, Writing and Storytelling for Educators class at Alameda County Office of Education, Aimee Suzara, instructor 

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